Photo by Mishael Gill '23.
Local to Market, a new addition to downtown Westport, is a unique store featuring local goods sourced from farms and small food brands around Connecticut.
Owner Chris Marcocci is all about community.
“The concept of Local to Market [is about] featuring local artists and artisans because […] that’s part of the community,” Marcocci said. ”So it’s not just local food and beverage products and non-food products, but it’s also tying into the community of local artists.”
Marcocci resumed his search for an optimal space to host the business in May 2021 after he had to pause the project the year before due to COVID-19. He was optimistic about opening in the downtown area, which hasn’t had a market for years.
The entrance of the store features elevated ceilings with natural wood rafters that provide a homey feel to the space. Big windows open to the street and the patio, where Marcocci likes to host local artists.
“We’ve had farm stands out here, local musicians, potter[s] and other artists displaying art out on the patio,” Marcocci said.
With increasing demand for healthy living and sustainability, Local to Market embodies innovation in the way people shop for groceries so that they can eat healthy while supporting small businesses.
“Local to Market is in itself its own small business, but inside of Local to Market is 30-40 other small businesses,” Marcocci said. “So, by shopping Local to Market not only are you supporting this business but you’re supporting the other 35-40 brands that are based in Connecticut.”
Feedback from residents has already been supportive.
“I love the idea of shopping local, there’s great variety and lots of fresh organic stuff and there’s art! And dogs,” Westport resident Scott Efler said.
Within the store, Marcocci has also integrated a designated gallery featuring art from the Westport Art Collective. Marcocci is passionate about supporting local artists and artisans and is now working with the collective to offer pieces to view and to buy. He plans to rotate both the art collection and collection of charities he donates to periodically in order to branch out his support for the community.
“Right now we’ve been giving to the Connecticut Food Bank, the Gillespie Center here in Westport, and the Westport EMS, ” Marcocci said. “[…We are] bringing the community together to support all of these local businesses.”